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Born in Kenora, Ontario in 1938, Gary participated in rowing, curling and football throughout high school. He became a notable football player in fact, garnering the attention of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who offered him a spot on their team in 1959. He declined their offer, though, for the love of hockey.

After playing intermediate hockey with the Kenora Thistles, Gary played for the Memorial Cup champion Winnipeg Braves in 1958-59; he then moved up to their parent team, the Winnipeg Warriors, in 1959-60. From 1960-64 he played with Buffalo, Cleveland, Quebec, and Springfield of the AHL, then moved to the NHL's Detroit Red Wings in 1964-65.

Bergman was a hard rock defenceman with the Wings for 10 seasons and was voted their most valuable defenceman in 1967 and from 1971 to 1974, also earning a spot on the All-Star team in 1973. He was traded to the Minnesota North Stars in 1974-75, but returned to the Wings later that season. In 1975-76 he finished off his NHL career with the Kansas City Stars with an overall record of 367 points in 838 regular season games

Despite his many accomplishments in the NHL, most Canadians are more likely to remember Bergman as Team Canada’s steadfast defenceman during the legendary 1972 Canada-Russia Summit series. He was one of only seven players to have played in all eight games of the series, and his contribution to Canada’s climactic win is noted by many of the team’s staff. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a part of this team in 2000.

Retiring to West Bloomfield, Michigan, he passed away in December of 2000.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 27, 1986

Gary Bergman

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